Coffee Beans vs. Coffee Pods (Which One is Better?)

Preparing that much-needed cup of coffee at home has come a long way. Today, along with buying regular coffee beans and using them with a traditional drip coffee maker, we can also purchase single-serve coffee pods using various coffee pod machines, such as Keurig and Nespresso. But, which one is better: Coffee beans or coffee pods?

If convenience is of utmost importance to you, then Coffee Pods are worth the extra cost over coffee beans. However, coffee pods may be lacking in other areas.

To determine which coffee method is most suited for you, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of using both coffee beans and coffee pods. Everyone will have different preferences, so continue reading to help you decide which is best for you.

Coffee Beans? What do you Mean?

So we are clear what we’re comparing. By coffee beans, I mean the kind of bag of beans you might buy online from an independent coffee roaster or even off the shelf in the supermarket. These tend to come in around 250g bags and can cost as little as $5.00 in the supermarket and about $40 for really great single-origin coffee from a specialty roaster.

Usually, you can buy the same product with the coffee beans ground inside, but today we’ll be comparing a bag of whole beans to coffee pods.

What is a Coffee Capsules or Pods?

A pod is a little single-serve capsule filled with ground coffee that can be put in a small coffee machine and brewed in a way that is most like an espresso machine. If you want to use coffee pods, you must also buy a device that can brew them and make sure the two things are compatible.

Keurig and Nespresso are the most popular brands of both pods and machines.

5 Benefits of Coffee Pods

  1. Availability. You could grab a box of coffee pods while in your local supermarket shop. If you want to see the full range of Nespresso pods, you can visit a Nespresso shop in most large cities, or you can easily buy them off the internet. The content of options is quite staggering.
  2. Ease of use. Pop the pod in the machine, press a button, and you’re done.
  3. No weighing and measuring. If you’re going to make a great coffee from coffee beans, you will need to weigh them and the water you’re using to get the correct ratio. With a pod, everything is pre-portioned for you.
  4. No cleaning up. After making your coffee with the pod machine, there is just the pod to dispose of. No washing up required.
  5. You can now get specialty coffee pods from roasters like ‘Grind,’ ‘Origin,’ and ‘Colonna,’ so there are options for pretty delicious coffee.
  6. Longer shelf-life. Pods are going to have a longer shelf life compared to coffee beans. This is because the coffee is sealed airtight inside the capsule to protect it from light, moisture and oxygen.

5 Benefits of Coffee Beans

  1. Freshness and Taste. If you buy specialty coffee beans, there will be a roast date on the bag, and you can see how fresh they are. You are also able to use a coffee grinder to preserve their taste.
  2. Information about the origin. As we know, information about the coffee you are buying such as, where it was grown, by who, what processing method was used, etc., all show coffee is both well-sourced and more likely to taste great. This information is always available on good coffee roasters’ bags of beans, but very little information tends to be available on the coffee in pods.
  3. More coffee for your money. If you look at how much coffee is in a pod, it’s less than half of the quantity you might typically use for a cup of coffee. With pods, you’re paying for packaging and proportioning; rather than with bags of beans, you’re paying for a weight of coffee. Read “How many cups of coffee can you get from a 1-pound bag of coffee?”
  4. You’re in control of your grind size, how much water you choose, and the amount of coffee you want to brew in one go. With pods, you can brew one or two or even three pods, but you’re just brewing the same thing over and over again; there aren’t many variables you can change to get the perfect drink.
  5. You can see them! They’re not hidden away in a vacuum-packed pod. You can see how dark they’re roasted, and you can watch them as you brew your coffee so you have an indication of how well it’s going to be brewed, and you can see if there are any problems.

Cons of Coffee Pods

They’re pretty terrible for the environment. Your easy pre-portioned coffee typically come in a non-recyclable plastic pod with a foil lid, and then they will be packed in some outer packaging.

It’s a lot of packaging for a cup of coffee. Some pods are now recyclable, but sadly, the number of people who recycle them is minimal because it’s difficult to do it properly.

Pods tend to be more expensive per cup than using coffee beans. You can purchase a larger pack to get a bulk discount, but they are still going to run higher.

Cons of Coffee Beans

Time. You must make time for great coffee from coffee beans. If you don’t have at least five minutes to dedicate to grinding the beans and brewing your coffee on a morning, then you’re not going to get a great outcome.

Some people love the ritual of making coffee in the morning, but others would just instead that extra five minutes in bed!

Our Favorite Single-Serve Coffee Maker

I’ve owned a handful of single-serve coffee makers since they came out. I would have to say that the Nespresso by Breville is by far my favorite. I love how you can make a single cup of coffee or espresso with such ease and the coffee tastes fantastic every time.

Final Thoughts

Pods are for you if speed and ease of making your coffee are the priority. You will not get as high of quality coffee from a pod as you could from some beans, but you get a decent coffee, more time in bed, and no clean-up.

Coffee Beans are for you if you are aiming to make a great cup of coffee that fit your personal preferences. Quality is your main concern, and you’re happy to lose a few minutes on a morning grinding, weighing, and brewing those top-notch beans.

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